Chronic diseases like arthritis or diabetes are so widespread that we often forget about another potentially deadly condition: fibromyalgia. This health condition affects over 10 million people across the United States and even more around the world. While there isn't any universally accepted test to determine whether you suffer from this painful disease, knowing the symptoms helps you spot it sooner. And once you know you're dealing with fibromyalgia, acting on it becomes easier. Here's when weighted blankets come in.
In this article, you can learn more about weighted blankets for fibromyalgia, how they can help you out, and when you may need one.
What Are Weighted Blankets and Why Are They Good Against Fibromyalgia?
The concept of weighted blankets is pretty straightforward; they're blankets with stuffers that increase their weight. Therefore, the blankets feel heavier than usual. Therapists used these products to ease the constant pain felt by their anxious or autistic fibromyalgia sufferers.
Over time, the popularity of weighted blankets increased. People started using it for many reasons, including reducing insomnia, relaxing stress levels, and dealing with fibromyalgia. It's a simple but highly effective method that improves your health in many ways.
But do weighted blankets work for real? And, if they do, how? There's a scientific explanation behind it.
Fibromyalgia and Weighted Blankets — How Does It Work?
Using weighted blankets to battle fibromyalgia is easy. All you have to do is snuggle under the blankets before falling asleep, and that's it. You can also use this item whenever you have a break during the day.
Weighted blankets create deep pressure touch stimulation, famously known as DTP (Deep Touch Pressure Therapy). You also experience this type of stimulation while receiving a massage. In any case, it's a process that releases neurotransmitters, which include the following:
- Serotonin. Studies show that you may experience low serotonin levels when diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Weighted blankets produce Serotonin to prevent this issue. When you wake up, you will feel fresh and relaxed instead of numb and tired.
- Endorphins. A weighted blanket helps release endorphins, which create an analgesic stimulus on the body. This process helps reduce the pain you feel by preventing those pain receptors send signals to your brain.
- Additionally, weighted blankets improve dopamine and oxytocin levels. As a result, you'll start feeling more motivated and less stressed.
The release of these neurotransmitters calms the usual fibromyalgia symptoms at multiple levels. Weighted blankets are so effective that people have started using them for many other purposes besides fibromyalgia.
Why Use Weighted Blankets for Fibromyalgia?
If you're dealing with fibromyalgia, chances are you may be a little skeptical about weighted blankets. We already established that the blankets work, but why are they necessary? Aren't there other methods you can try to battle the disease? The answer is yes. Other methods might help you, but those methods have disadvantages that you may want to know.
Medication: No medication can cure fibromyalgia, but drug-based treatments can definitely help you tackle some of the aches felt due to the condition.
Workout and Diet: Adopting a more active schedule doing exercise and a healthy diet can boost your system against some of the symptoms caused by fibromyalgia. This method won't cure the condition either, but it's another option to try if you want to be more proactive. Sadly, exercising while feeling intense pain is not something anyone can do. You must follow a strict routine and stick to a schedule as much as possible.
Weighted Blankets: Using a weighted blanket to treat fibromyalgia constitutes physical therapy. You can add it to your routine as a way to deal with the symptoms even when you're sleeping or resting. Weighted blankets provide terrific sensory input to alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms. This method is more painless than following strict workout sessions and less detrimental than stuffing your body with fibromyalgia drugs. But then again, following one method doesn't exclude the other. You can use weighted blankets plus medicines or exercise if you feel like you can handle it. Remember to always consult your doctor to find the best choices for you.
How Can Fibromyalgia Affect You?
This disease is primarily about pain, meaning that fibromyalgia is likely to affect your life significantly. Feeling tired and in pain every day makes you feel less motivated to step out of bed, enjoy hobbies, or spend time with those close to you. Over time, all these circumstances may lead to depression and worse problems. Luckily, weighted blankets can help avoid all of these sensations or at the very least reduce them to bearable levels.
In the next sections, we'll walk you through the process of identifying in which scenarios you could use a weighted blanket. Thus, you'll be ready to act quickly if you start noticing the symptoms of this awful disease.
When Do You Need a Weighted Blanket for Fibromyalgia? — Diagnosing the Symptoms
Visit a doctor to get a diagnosis to see if you have fibromyalgia.
A weighted blanket is necessary if you're experiencing intense musculoskeletal pain. These aches include pain in the muscles, tendons, and joints. There are also other symptoms, including:
- Constant headache.
- Chronic pain in the fibromyalgia pain points.
- Pain across the jaw or muscles of the face.
- Dryness felt in your mouth, eyes, and nose.
- Sudden gastrointestinal issues.
- You suffer from increased sensitivity at high and low temperatures.
- Regular urination.
- Your hands and feet feel numb or tingly.
- Syndrome of the restless leg.
- You feel anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues.
These are all common fibromyalgia symptoms that may give you an idea you're dealing with this condition and need a weighted blanket. If the sickness is too severe, you may also deal with chronic fatigue, insomnia, and an intense sense of tiredness. Keep an eye out for these symptoms, and make sure to speak to your doctor to get a diagnosis and figure out if it is fibromyalgia what you are dealing with.
How to Find the Ideal Weighted Blanket for You
Weighted blankets come in different sizes and weights, but how do you find the ideal one for you? In this section, we'll walk you through the most important features to consider before buying. Keep this information in mind and use it to find the definitive blanket to battle against fibromyalgia.
The Weight of the Blanket
First, you must identify which is the right blanket weight for you. Fortunately, there's a rule of thumb that you can follow here. Choose a weighted blanket with 10 percent of your body's weight. Therefore, if your current weight is around 150 pounds, the perfect blanket weight would be 15 pounds. A person that's 200 pounds would do better with blankets weighing 20 pounds.
The Size of the Blanket
The ideal weighted blanket must be large enough to cover your body from the neck all the way to your feet without being excessive. This size varies depending on the person's height. Adults usually need twin-size weighted blankets, whereas children can do with the smaller models. Remember that the blanket shouldn't hang over the bed's sides. Otherwise, the weight could cause it to slide to the floor without you noticing if you're having a good night's sleep.
Finding the ideal size may seem tricky, but there's an easy way for you to figure it out. Use your mattress for reference. A queen-sized bed needs a twin-size blanket, which also fits full beds. On the other hand, consider a full or queen blanket if you own a king mattress.
Blanket with Removable Cover
Since these blankets can be heavy, washing them is not an easy feat. This concern is even more prominent if the blankets get stained or covered in pet fur. Therefore, consider buying weighted blankets with removable covers. They will make cleaning it much easier, especially if you get cotton or a soft snug fabric. If you prefer cozy and warm, snug is the way to go. The covers could come included with the weighted blankets or separately.
Weighted Blanket Filling
When you're buying a weighted blanket, you'll notice that some feature glass beads and others plastic pellets. But what does that even mean? Let's explain it briefly. Glass beads are similar in size or smaller than sand grains, and they're also heavier when compared to plastic pellets. Due to their small size, the beads consume less space, making the blankets thinner.
On the other hand, plastic pellets are larger in size and make the blankets bulkier. There's no real benefit other than a slight difference in the size of the blanket. Some companies merely choose plastic pallets due to affordability. Sunday Citizen Weighted Blankets are filled with crystals such as amethyst, clear quartz and rose quartz offering a unique advantage. Crystals are used in holistic healing to absorb and direct energies.
You'll find that weighted blankets may also feature polyester fiberfill. This material provides warmth, but you shouldn't buy a blanket with a fill if you enjoy a chilly and breathable fabric. Knowing this information will help you find the perfect weighted blanket to deal with fibromyalgia.
Who Needs a Weighted Blanket for Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a common condition that almost anyone could experience within their lifespan. However, there are a few circumstances in which you may be more likely to suffer from it. Find out who's more prone to deal with fibromyalgia and could use a weighted blanket in this section.
Women: This condition affects both genders, but women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia. Females have 50% more risk of suffering from this condition when compared to men.
18-Year-Olds (and Older): People are also prone to suffering fibromyalgia once they reach adulthood. In the modern era, 90% of people older than 18 years may suffer the symptoms related to this condition.
Hereditary Fibromyalgia Patients: Lastly, you may experience Fibromyalgia as a hereditary condition. If someone in your family has a history with this problem, others within the family tree could also suffer from it.
Recommended Weighted Blankets to Consider Buying
You've heard about weighted blankets, and now we'll talk about some of the best out there. If you're looking for the ideal one, here's a list of three of the most comfortable and cozy blankets.
This blanket comes in weights of 10, 15, 20, and 35 pounds, in sizes throw, queen and king. It's the perfect choice for people that sleep soundly. The fabric wicks moisture, and it has a removable cover for easier machine washing. The weighted blanket is filled with natural crystals.
This blanket comes in weights of 10, 15, and 20 pounds, in sizes throw. The fabric is made of 100% viscose from bamboo, and it has a removable cover for easier machine washing. The weighted blanket is filled with natural crystals.
Final Verdict — Weighted Blankets for Overall Health Improvement
Weighted blankets for fibromyalgia are an effective tool to gain control of your body back. They allow you to alleviate some of the most common fibromyalgia symptoms, allowing you to sleep better and be healthier.
And who knows? When you get better, the weighted blankets will still be there for you. You can use it for other purposes like battling sleep deprivation, stress, and overall fatigue.
So, don't let fibromyalgia dictate your life quality. Consider buying a weighted blanket, and start feeling better as soon as tonight.